Denmark revival leaves North County scrambling
Denmark put their first points on the board since the middle of December and at the same time further dented North County’s finals prospects in a tense round 11 fixture of the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition on Saturday.
The Magpies came into the clash having not won since beating reigning premiers Railways on December 16 and, in a match that changed complexion more than once, both sides had their chances to win.
A rare failure by Englishman Jujhar Johal did not prevent the Magpies from reaching a more-than-defendable target at Turf North as veteran Cary Green anchored the innings.
Green batted for almost 45 overs for his patient 59 runs but it was a 52-run stand with Dan Robson and smaller partnerships with Ryan Gaerth and Peter Ross that guided his side past 150.
Young quick James Plowman eventually removed Green at 5-135, but the Magpies finished on 8-165 after useful contributions from Gaerth (18), Robson (15), Ross (12) and Matt Burton (10 not out) to go with 29 costly sundries from the Bulldogs in the field.
Plowman snared 4-41 from his 10-over spell while spinner Paul Osborne (2-14) was again hard to get away as he claimed key pair Gaerth and Michael Pratt.
The Bulldogs made a solid start, but the loss of captain Neil Ferreira (15) and Hamish Bigwood (3) nearing drinks left them at 4-68.
As in so many other games in his long time as a Bulldog, opener Craig Tonkin took responsibility for the run chase as his side crept closer to victory at 5-97 and then 6-123.
However, the lower order simply could not hang on and allow Tonkin a shy at the stumps for a vital six points.
Osborne became Robson’s second scalp and the introduction of Pratt ensured a Magpies win as he took the final three wickets in quick succession, trapping both Boston Cavanagh and Chris Langslow lbw before Jake Abbott was the last man out when he was spectacularly caught first ball at mid-on to a diving one-handed catch from Daniel Westthorp.
Tonkin was unbeaten but clearly frustrated on 61 as the Bulldogs were dismissed for 141 and slipped from fourth to sixth in a costly weekend for last year’s grand finalists.
The Magpies replaced their opponents in the top four after the result, which was orchestrated by Green after not only starring with the bat but also returning 2-18 from 10 overs with the ball.
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